Tag Archives: COVID-19 Updates

Delay of Vaccine Delivery a Concern, But Washington DOH Guardedly Optimistic About COVID-19 Cases

by Jack Russillo


Last weekend’s nationwide stormy weather affected vaccine shipments from the east coast to the west coast, meaning that Washington State health care providers will see delays in vaccine shipment arrivals.

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) estimates that more than 90% of this week’s allocation to the state will arrive late due to stormy weather across the country, DOH officials said in a virtual press conference on Thursday, Feb 18. Moderna vaccines have not shipped yet this week and Pfizer vaccines did not ship Monday, with only a limited number of vaccine shipments processed Tuesday and Wednesday. These delays caused the DOH to close its Kennewick and Spokane vaccination sites through the weekend, and others might follow suit. 

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Statewide Pandemic Relief Fund Sets $30M Goal for Vaccine Equity

by Ben Adlin


A statewide partnership of public officials and private groups on Monday, Feb. 15, announced plans to put $30 million toward a new equity initiative intended to boost COVID-19 vaccination rates among Black, Brown, Indigeneous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and other groups disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

“The goal on this initiative is to raise $15 million to match government dollars around vaccine outreach and education,” said Lilliane Ballesteros, executive director of the Latino Community Fund of Washington. “Now is the time to mobilize our collective resources quickly to those in need.”

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Case Rates Remain Highest in South King County, Two Vaccination Sites Open

by Elizabeth Turnbull


A large wave of COVID-19 cases is expected to arrive in Seattle due to a variant strain of the virus, meanwhile South King County remains the most impacted by the novel coronavirus, county public health officials said in a press conference Friday afternoon. Vaccinations have been distributed at higher rates in north and central King County. In response the county has stepped up efforts to increase the number of vaccination sites for South King County residents in the past week.

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Washington Study Showing COVID-19 Is Deadlier for Pregnant Women, Raises Questions About Vaccine Priorities

by Sally James


Pregnant women in Washington state who contracted COVID-19 were 13 times more likely to die from the virus than their peers who were not pregnant, according to a study published last week in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. One study author called the mortality rate “shockingly high.” The study was led by University of Washington researchers.

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Good Vaccine News Overshadowed by Emergence of More Contagious, Possibly Deadlier COVID Variant in State

by Carolyn Bick


Though Washington State will be getting more doses of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, as well as specialized syringes that will be able to coax out one extra dose from every vial of Pfizer vaccine, the good news Gov. Jay Inslee shared during his press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 26 was somewhat overshadowed by the arrival of the significantly more contagious novel coronavirus variant in the state, the discovery of which was officially announced this past weekend in a Department of Health press release.

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Public Health Officials Warn of Serious New Wave of COVID-19 Cases

by Elizabeth Turnbull


Roughly one year after COVID-19 was identified for the first time in Washington State, health officials are warning of an overwhelming new wave of infection due to the arrival of potential variant strains, while areas in South King County remain hard-hit by the virus in general.

After highlighting a recent two-week reduction in COVID-19 cases in King County, in a press briefing on Friday, Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer at Public Health — Seattle King County, gave a stark address, urging the public to prepare for the arrival of highly contagious variant strains that have already emerged in other states and areas in the world.

“We are used to living with real volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest and right now we’re also living in the shadow of a COVID-19 volcano,” Duchin said. “We need to expect the coronavirus equivalent of a Mount Saint Helens-like eruption at some time in the next few months.” 

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Seattle Set to Vaccinate Older, Vulnerable Adults in Supportive Housing in Next Round of Mobile Vaccination Effort

by Carolyn Bick


Seattle’s older adults living in supportive housing will be the next in line for vaccinations against the novel coronavirus offered by the City’s mobile vaccine clinics, the Office of the Mayor announced in a press release on Jan. 22. This newest mobile vaccination effort began on Jan. 21 and includes older adults who had formerly experienced homelessness and who now receive wraparound case management services, as well as older, low-income adults living in affordable housing.

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Inslee: Increased Vaccinations, Eligibility Umbrella, Plus Creation of Private-Public Vaccine Partnership

by Carolyn Bick


Washingtonians aged 65 and older and, additionally, those aged 50 and older who live in “multigenerational households” are now eligible to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus under Phase 1B — Tier 1 effective immediately, Gov. Jay Inslee announced in a press conference on Jan. 18 (“multigenerational household,” per the schedule update, was not immediately defined). He also announced a slew of other vaccination schedule changes, including statewide mass vaccinations that will begin as soon as next week and the creation of a private-public partnership, in order to ramp up to administering 45,000 vaccines per day as quickly as possible.

Inslee said that allowing people aged 65 and older as well as those 50 and older — specifically those 50 and older who are living in what was referred to during the press conference as “multigenerational households” — to get the vaccine sooner than originally planned is meant to reflect a more equitable distribution of vaccines. That said, all persons wishing to learn their vaccination eligibility should go to the State’s online vaccine eligibility assessor, called Phase Finder, and fill out the questionnaire. (Note: As of this publication, the website seems to be experiencing some technical difficulties.)

Inslee also said that once roughly half of people eligible to get the vaccine under Phase 1B — Tier 1 have gotten vaccinated, the State’s vaccine providers will be allowed to offer vaccines to people deemed eligible in Phase 1B’s Tiers 2, 3, and 4, in order to increase efficiency.

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King County Commits $7 Million to Increased Vaccination Efforts, Won’t Change Jail COVID Protocols

by Carolyn Bick


King County will be committing $7 million to ramp up vaccination efforts to prevent against COVID-19, with two high-volume vaccination sites slated for South King County in the near future, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced in a public health briefing on Jan. 8.

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Incarcerated People Won’t Receive Vaccine Until at Least April — But That May Not Be Set in Stone

by Carolyn Bick


Despite the close settings in which the state’s incarcerated population live, and the waves of outbreaks washing through the incarceration system, Washington State’s Department of Health (DOH) has decided that Washington’s incarcerated population will not receive the vaccine until Phase 1B-4, according to a vaccination plan the DOH announced at a DOH press conference on Jan. 6. 

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